King castle

The city will hold a wreath laying ceremony on Martin Luther King Jr.

Brother Walter Umrani holds the crown from the 2011 ceremony. (Sabree Hill, Uptown Messenger file photo)

The mayor’s office will mark Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday on Monday (Jan. 17) with a ceremony at the monument to the slain civil rights leader on South Claiborne Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The memorial wreath laying ceremony will take place in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument at 11 a.m.

The city has traditionally honored King on National Day with a march through Central City, beginning at AL Davis Park, stopping at the statue on MLK Boulevard and Oretha Castle Haley, and culminating in the wreath laying ceremony. The parades traditionally featured high school bands, dance troupes and city officials, church leaders and civil rights activists tying their arms.

The march will not take place this year, spokeswoman for the mayor’s office, Sharmaine Russ, said in an email. In 2021, the city’s official MLK Day events were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organizers did not release the names of the speakers at Monday’s memorial ceremony. “We are still in the planning process,” Russ said Wednesday afternoon (January 13). “These details have not yet been finalized.”

The Sophie B. Wright band walks down Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard at the start of the 2020 MLK Walk of Remembrance. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger file photo)